Federal Charges Filed
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Federal charges have been filed against two men in regards to a fire at a vacant apartment building in the West End of Johnstown that an owner told us was being renovated. The indictment charged Joseph Blough II and Mark Hutchison with one count of Malicious Destruction of Property by Fire in relation to the blaze in the 100 block of Fairfield Avenue on December 12. The charges were originally filed March 5. West Hills police said at the time multiple crews battled the flames, which caused the building to partly collapse while firefighters were standing nearby. Jeannette Ford, who told us her LLC owned the building, said in December they were rehabbing the building and were weeks away from opening a laundromat when the fire happened. The building was managed by the Florida-based company Citrona Homes, which owns and manages several properties in the city. A person who answered the phone at Citrona Homes said that Blough did work for the company and that the situation is a major shock to them. Blough will be arraigned on April 8. Hutchison will make an initial appearance on April 17.